Last week, The House approved a measure to overhaul the international mailing system in an effort to shed the U.S. Postal Service’s reputation as an unwitting drug courier and reduce its role in the nation’s opioid crisis.
Many lawmakers and stakeholders have for years pushed the reform, which would require USPS to receive “advanced electronic data” on the contents of international packages before they reach the United States, but securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act (H.R. 5788) was only brought to a vote after a bipartisan agreement broke through last week.
The legislation would bring requirements currently enforced on private shipping companies to the Postal Service by 2021 when the mailing agency would transmit the advanced data, or AED, to Customs and Border Protection on 100 percent of international packages. USPS, which currently only collects the data on 40 percent of inbound international packages, would have to pass on the information on 70 percent of packages by the end of this year.
Supporters of the measure are hopeful it would help stem the flow of illicit, synthetic opioids from foreign manufacturers through the mail system.